‘Smiling is my favorite’

‘Tis the season for watching Christmas movies. My kids have been hitting the record button on many recent favorites, which have been playing over & over on our TV. A personal fav of mine, Elf  includes a line that really resonates with me …  (Elf quotes)

Buddy the Elf: I just like to smile. Smiling is my favorite.

Smiling is my favorite

I came to appreciate the value of a smile as a junior in college during a spring break trip to New York City. Walking the jam-packed streets of downtown NY, friends warned not to look people in the eye as they passed by  — “never make eye contact in NY”.  After spending an entire week looking at the ground or straight through people, I recall a big feeling of relief in returning to Central Michigan University’s campus, looking people in the eye and sharing a mutual smile.

I’ve carried that experience with me ever since. Nowadays, I make a point of looking people square in the eye & smiling, nodding or sometimes even offering a “hello.” Everytime, a smile is returned. It’s a small gesture, but always feels better than a snarl, frown or dirty look. Once you’ve received a smile from someone, just try to not smile back.

Smiling typically implies happiness, a good mood and positive attitude. I’ve noticed a good bit of this kind of cheer around lately and … it makes me smile.

Here are a few of the efforts I’ve found that are working to spread cheer and prompt more smiles:

The Happiness Project

Launched by GretchenRubin blogger and best selling author of The Happiness Project, a synopsis of the year she spent test-driving studies and theories about how to be happier. She created the Happiness Project Challenge to make 2010 a happier year, inviting people to join her in the quest by signing up on her website and each month, she proposed an area of life to tackle, then offered concrete, manageable resolutions to help boost happiness.

Gretchen has already started thinking about the 2011 challenge. Just a few short weeks until the new year. Sign up for the Moment of Happiness, and each weekday morning, you’ll get a happiness quotation in your email inbox. Sign up here or email Gretchen at gretchen@gretchenrubin.com.

The Good Mood Blogger

Nature’s Blend SAM-e hosts a Good Mood Blog on its website. You can even take a Good Mood Quiz to test your mood. Recently they’ve opted to take it one step further. The Good Mood Gig  job search, launched in October, is looking for a blogger to write about his or her good mood for an entire year. So far the search has been a huge success with 741 entries and over 220,000 votes!

Becks Davis - The next Good Mood Blogger

Detroit-based writer of the Detroit Moxie blog, Becks Davis, who I recently met while she was in Mt. Pleasant at a meeting of the Great Lakes Bay Region Social Media Club, is in the running as a finalist for the Good Mood job. I’ve been casting votes almost daily. Currently, Becks is up to almost 8,000 votes. Your vote could help her win. VOTE here. A year of good mood blogging about Detroit, now that could generate some smiles

Postive Status Month

Julie Gibson Sowle, creator of Positive Status Month


 A friend of mine, Julie Gibson Sowle, has taken it upon herself to create Positive Status Month on Facebook. The concept is simple … only positive status updates allowed to be posted throughout the month of December. It’s actually a response to getting fed up with the tendancy towards negative comments, complaints and whining passed around Facebook. Julie had taken it on as a personal challenge. Kudos to you Julie!! I signed on to the challenge right away!

Finally, a plug for my own effort toward spreading good cheer — or rather good news. If you need a dose of the good stuff going on feel free to check out www.visionmidmichigan.com. We’ve been told the stories we post often prompt a smile.

To conclude … your marching orders — Look ’em in the eye and SMILE !